Cognitive function relies on a dynamic, context-sensitive balance between functional integration and segregation in the brain. Previous work has proposed that this balance is mediated by global fluctuations in neural gain by projections from ascending neuromodulatory nuclei. To test this hypothesis in silico, we studied the effects of neural gain on network dynamics in a model of large-scale neuronal dynamics. We found that increases in neural gain directed the network through an abrupt dynamical transition, leading to an integrated network topology that was maximal in frontoparietal 'rich club' regions. This gain-mediated transition was also associated with increased topological complexity, as well as increased variability in time-resolved topological structure, further highlighting the potential computational benefits of the gain-mediated network transition. These results support the hypothesis that neural gain modulation has the computational capacity to mediate the balance between integration and segregation in the brain.
Keywords: BOLD; biophysical Model; excitability; integration; neural gain; neuroscience; none; noradrenaline.
© 2018, Shine et al.